Monday, May 14, 2007

From dead soldiers to dead hearing aid...

From American Progress:

Think Fast

"More than 50 Iraqis died Sunday in bombings, mortar blasts and gunfire. Two U.S. soldiers also were killed, while 4,000 troops scoured an area southwest of Baghdad in search of three soldiers apparently captured after an ambush Saturday that left four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter dead."

Popular conservative blog "will step up its efforts this week to force Republican leaders to pull Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) from the powerful Appropriations Committee."

"The Senate launches a major debate on immigration this week, with shaky prospects for a comprehensive overhaul" that can overcome a conservative filibuster. "Republicans are insisting on rules tougher than those in last year's Senate bill. They want longer waits, bigger fines and a trip home to the country of origin."

1: The number of Iraqi refugees resettled in the United States in April. "The total since the fiscal year started Oct. 1 is 69. At this rate, far from resettling 7,000, the State Department will be lucky to match last year's total of 202."

"The White House confirmed yesterday that the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad is likely to meet in the next several weeks with Iranian officials about stabilizing Iraq, as the administration embraces a tactic outsiders have long recommended as essential to reducing sectarian violence in Iraq."

New documents" suggest that World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz "understood that his role in ordering a pay increase and promotion for his companion in 2005 might be seen as a conflict of interest but insisted on proceeding anyway."

"Nearly half the U.S. attorneys slated for removal by the administration last year were targets of Republican complaints that they were lax on voter fraud, including efforts by presidential adviser Karl Rove to encourage more prosecutions of election-law violations."

"A Depression-era program to bring electricity to rural areas is using taxpayer money to provide billions of dollars in low-interest loans to build coal plants even as Congress seeks ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions. That government support is a major force behind the rush to coal plants, which spew carbon dioxide that scientists blame for global warming."

And finally: "Expanding on his reason for saying at a debate that an employer should be allowed to fire someone for being gay, Tommy Thompson on Saturday blamed a dead hearing aid and his need to use the bathroom." "I was very sick the day of the debate. ? I could not wait until the debate got off so I could go to the bathroom," he said.


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